- Lack of Adobe Flash - The lack of flash video on the iPhone and iPad is becoming less of a nuisance these days, since more and more websites are offering their video content in both flash and HTML5 formats. Actually, the failure to incorporate HTML5 into a website is the real problem. If you're not making your website compatible with devices that are in the hands of nearly 200 million people, that's on you. Not the device.
- Camera Megapixels - As I've seen personally with both the iPhone and a Droid X, more megapixels does not equal a better picture. As it currently stands the iPhone 4 has 5 MP versus the Droid's 8 MP. On most of my photo tests, as well as most photo tests from other entities, the iPhone photos rate better thanks to the stabilizer and better focus. Colors also seem crisper for whatever reason.
- iOS Isn't Open Source - Given the serious security breach that the Android app store just suffered, I'm not going to even bother to rub it in their face just why it's such a bad idea to let "anything go." There's a reason that computers running Windows are more susceptible to viruses. Mac keeps their shit closed tight so that the user has an over all pleasant experience for years to come. Android is only proving itself to be the Windows OS of mobile devices, which is saying something since Windows has their own mobile OS.
Why would I upgrade?Now, why would I recommend the iPad 2 ahead of it's release on Friday? No, I don't have an advance tester device in my hands nor did I attend the announcement event last week in San Francisco. There are a few pieces of information that were shared during that announcement however that cemented in my mind the justification for upgrading.
- Facetime - Some people might think that the lack of a front facing camera on the first iPad was an oversight or a purposeful act to encourage upgrading. I however don't think it's quite so cut and dry. I think it took Apple longer than normal to figure out how to market the new front facing camera system on their mobile devices. iSight cameras have been standard in Macs for years, and prior to their built-in status, they were made to be compatible with the full range of desktops and laptops. Now, we see in all new models of Apple computers, the built-in camera has been renamed FaceTime HD. I think they sort of stumbled onto "FaceTime" as a communication tool and brand. All that being said, FaceTime on a tablet is a wonderful idea. It's already neat on the iPhone and more logical on a MacBook. The iPad might prove to be the perfect medium for video calling.
- Faster Processing Speeds - The iPad and iPhone 4 are already pretty fast as far as mobile devices go. Any time you add more speed – especially when you double existing scores – you've got a #winning reason to upgrade. What this means for you the user is that all app launch times will effectively be cut in half. Videos will run smoother and start earlier. Faster = better in technology. And things will always get faster.
- The Smart Covers - Okay, I did have to mention these despite their not actually being included with the iPad 2 itself. They're sold separately, but the design is genius. Magnetic attachment, triangular folding into a stand, 10 different colors to choose from, screen cleaning interior microfiber... need I say more? Apple typically doesn't get into the case/cover production since they pride themselves on their product design. However, the new iPad 2 Smart Cover proves just why they should focus a little more R&D into that industry.
Images from Apple.com.
And so my verdict, being both an Apple enthusiast yet a person who would not recommend a product frivolously, is that you should definitely upgrade to the iPad 2 if you're already an iPad owner, or just flat out make this your first iPad purchase. It's not necessary to do it right away, mind you. Apple is producing 40 million of these puppies this year. You've got plenty of time. I will say this though. Don't ever buy an Apple product if it is 8-11 months into it's life cycle. Something newer and better is waiting just around the corner. The good thing about iPads, however, is that compared to computers, they're inexpensive enough to gift to family members, or to just keep on the coffee table as a spare. I can definitely envision a world in which a household has 3-4 iPads lying about for the sake of convenience.